Posts Tagged ‘video’

Even though this is an ad published late last year for the new MacBook Pro, the video encapsulates some of the most revolutionary ideas that have been developed by man.

Quite literally

Ideas push the world forward!”



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Stephen King’s writing is legendary.

His books, of which there are more than 50, have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide.  Many of them have been adapted into movies, TV shows and comic books.  In addition to his novels, he has written more than 200 short stories.

While reading the genre of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction and fantasy may rule him out as being your favourite kind of author, it is not many writers who have had such an impact on the world of literature or written as prolifically.

So having the opportunity to listen to Stephen King’s thoughts in a short radio interview late last year, I was surprised to find that his words resonated strongly with me.  Most particularly when he said

We forget what it is to be a child.”

my ears pricked up.  Why is it, King questions, that adults forget how to look at the world through the eyes of a child.

His thoughts remind me of the words of that well known educator, Sir Ken Robinson, who in videos such as Do schools kill creativity? also laments the fact that children lose their creativity as they work their way from pre-school through to the end of high school.

Have a listen to this short interview and in the process be spellbound by the incredible drawings that accompany the interview.

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More than a couple of years ago I came across a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace in 2005 at Kenyon College.

An extract of his speech “This is water” has been coupled with graphics and is overlaid with David Foster Wallace reading his speech.  Intended as advice to graduating students stepping out into the world, Foster Wallace’s asks us to consider an alternate meaning to the banality and mundanity of everyday life.

Each of us he contends has to choose how to live our life.  Working on auto pilot, we can become bogged down by the boredom of routine and its inherent petty frustration.  If I am the centre of the world, my expectation is that my needs and feelings should determine the world’s priorities, he says.  If, however, we can learn how to think and pay attention to details and to perceive our world through the eyes of others, we will learn to enjoy the options life has to offer.  Looking beyond ourselves and the tiny details of daily life will, he suggests, make us more compassionate and reap rewards that will enable us to live a more fulfilling life.

The gift of being educated is understanding how to think.  Deciding what has meaning and what doesn’t is, he says, real freedom.

Take a few minutes to consider his words:

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A couple of months ago I blogged about HoloLens.  There was a fabulous video demonstrating the power of HoloLens and how it may well change the way we work, live and learn.

With disappointment, I just discovered that due to a copyright infringement, the YouTube channel associated with the video has been taken down.

Fascinated by the incredible impact that Microsoft HoloLens is most likely to have on us all, I found these two videos which give a glimpse of the capabilities of this emerging technology.

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Just lately I’ve been bombarded with a number of different articles and videos about the same topic:

The Internet of Things

Many may think this is a somewhat new idea, but in a recent Big Think video, Chris Curran estimates that it’s a term that’s been around for at least ten to fifteen years.  While early ideas explored how electrical appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines connected to the Internet, the focus soon shifted to how machine to machine communication could be achieved without any human intervention.  Subsequent exploration turned to developing consumer products such as the connected car and smart homes.

Current thinking, Curran concludes, is focused on what the Internet of Things is for service companies in business.  Not only is there a need to develop and refine new systems to collect data, but new kinds of processes need to be developed to manage the stream of data which will be collected by sensors in various service companies.  Curran intimates that a new kind of data architecture will evolve to capture, store, process, aggregate, and analyze data collected by installed sensor streams.

As I listened to his words, I couldn’t help thinking about the kind of data collected daily by the security gates at the entrance and exit of our school library.  How many of us, I found myself wondering, collect and analyze this data and consider its impact on our day to day operations?  What improvements, modifications or adjustments could we implement if we were to consider this data?   And what about those libraries who have installed RFID technology?  Is data being collected by this new amazing library technology feeding into our planning, programming and operational processes? Is there a need, as Curran suggests, for a new architecture to interpret this data?

An article in Education Technology Solutions, How the Internet of Things will transform education, highlights how education as we know it will be transformed and enhanced.

With estimated wide-scale adoption only five years away, and the pervasive spread of mobile devices from smartphones to tablets, and increasingly portable computers within student populations, IoT technologies will be able to connect the right people together to accelerate learning as well as collecting and interpreting data on learners’ behaviours and activity.

Along with enhanced initiatives of tailoring education to individual learning styles, making education more engaging and capturing data which can be used to inform the future, this short article also hints at the dangers and risks that can occur from mismanagement of data collected if issues of data security and integrity, along with the development of new education policies are not concurrently addressed.  Seemingly the implication is that new processes and perhaps new educational roles need to be developed to handle the many implications that the Internet of Things may bring to education.

And then, stepping away from the implications of the Internet of Things on business and education, I found myself contemplating a new world in which we’d be sharing, or as some predict, forgoing our roads to driverless cars.

About a year ago, Google released a first prototype of a driverless car and as you can see in this video, was received with delighted acclamations from those given the opportunity to ‘have a go’ being passengers in them.

Nearly a year after Google publicized its Self Driving Car Project, driverless cars are about to make their debut on the roads.  And with it, was a thought provoking article penned by Peter Martin: Reasons to be cheerful. What driverless cars will do for us in the Sydney Morning Herald (July 25th, 2015). With increased ‘freed-up’ time, our leisure time and productivity level will be increased dramatically.  Although many may be apprehensive about the demise of drivers – particularly for example “truckies” who, it is predicted, will no longer be needed five years from now to fulfill their present role of transporting goods in trucks around the country – there really is much to be excited about.  Have a read of Martin’s article and be inspired!

But ….. and there is always an ‘on the other hand’ kind of warning ….. smartcars are not immune from unforeseen dangers.  Have a look as WIRED senior writer, Andy Greenberg, takes his SUV for a drive on the highway while hackers attack it from miles away!

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“Education is far less about a set of facts than a way of thinking,” says the professor and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. “And therefore what I always think should be the basis of education is not answers but questions.”

Published on Jun 10, 2015

Krauss suggests that the task of educators is to teach kids to think and question.  In this short Big Think video he also argues that educators are the ones who should set standards, not school boards who are elected to run the schools.

Perhaps most controversially, he strongly suggests that standardized tests do not advance the education of kids one iota and that they have no place in our school programs.

Take a listen:

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If you haven’t yet seen The Imitation Game, a movie about Alan Turing and his efforts to break the Enigma Code during WWII, be sure to add it to your ‘must see ‘ list.  It’s a great movie, which is bound to take out some well deserved awards.

Like all films though, it has its critics.  Poetic license, they say, overtakes historical fact.  Important details are omitted.

Nevertheless, I came away from the movie feeling enlightened and informed.  The movie is multilayered.   Many issues are touched upon in a complex telling of the life of a profound individual who gave our world a great deal.  I found myself reaching out, wanting to learn more about Alan Turing, and was pleased to be able to listen to a Phillip Adams podcast in which he interviewed Professor Jack Copeland, an expert on the life and work of Alan Turning.   Aired on ABC radio just a week before the film’s release in Australia, the podcast is well worth the listen.

The selection of the movie’s title – The Imitation Game – is also quite interesting, as it is based on a conundrum Turing toyed with throughout his life.

It wasn’t until the ‘after movie discussion’ that I became aware CAPTCHA is a development based on Turing’s genius.  CAPTCHA – an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” is regularly used by numerous websites to determine if the user is a person or a machine.  When purchasing tickets online or submitting a comment for publication on a blog for example, a requirement to decipher those often illegible squiggly letters is in fact a process forcing us to complete the “Turning Test” to determine if indeed we really are a human!


Just recently, over one of those lingering coffees which I so enjoy indulging in with my husband,  the conversation turned to how dramatically our pursuit of knowledge has been impacted by smartphones.   Who could have anticipated that it would be common practice to pick up our smartphones mid-sentence to verify facts, to search for facts or, as so often happens with us, to determine which of us won the ‘bet’ on who was correct on a statement just made!  From there, our discussion drifted to the likelihood that one day in the not-too-distant future the entire web could be made available to all of us in any language of choice.   We toyed with the notion that this could appear as one of the many options listed at the top of a Google search.

And then, I happened upon an old TEDx video in which I found myself engrossed listening to an explanation of how CAPTCHA was developed by Luis von Ahn and his team.   How amazing it was to discover that each time we use CAPTCHA we join millions of others in helping to digitize books – a momentous task!  Recorded in 2011, this video became even more informative to me as I listened to von Ahn talk about the development of Duolingo, a program which is now up and running and is one I blogged about just a few months ago: Duolingo: A model for free online education.

Watch this video and be as entranced as I was by the incredible thinking behind CAPTCHA, how humans have been unwittingly harnessed to assist technological development and how this in turn has fed into the development of Duolingo.

I’m in awe sometimes when my reading and learning seems to go full circle, occurring at a time and in a way which I most often never anticipate!

Ah ….. the joy of lifelong learning!!

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